Happy November, friends! It’s one of the best months of the year. Lots of crisp fall days, delicious foods, and time with family make this one of my favorite months of the year.
This month’s budget has a few changes in income and expenses after October’s budget. I’m a bit nervous about some of it but also excited about it all!
November 2018 Budget
I’ve planned out out our November budget in EveryDollar and in my Happy Planner so I’m ready to tackle this month! Budgeting with fun stickers in my planner makes budgeting something I’ll actually do. I have tried spreadsheets before and… they just don’t work for me.
This month I’m anticipating $5,000 in income, which includes $300 of online income that will be earned and moved over from business savings, hopefully. I’m hoping to reduce our monthly budget to match our salary income and stop moving online income over. I’d rather use that income for other goals.
Here’s the budget so far for November:
- Mortgage – $1200
- Giving – $470
- Daycare – $480
- Therapy – $390
- Utilities- $225
- Phone – $160
- Cable/Internet – $85
- Gym – $87
- College Fund – $25
- Auto Insurance – $160
- Gas – $125
- Groceries – $400
- Dining Out – $150
- Shopping – $100
- Fun/Dates – $50
- Personal – $200
- Pets – $50
- Medical $50
- Alabama Trip – $100
- Other – $175
- Sinking Funds – $300 (from extra online income)
It turns out when you do Whole30, you don’t spend as much on food! When you can only buy the basics – aka real food – you don’t spend much on fancy extra items. Or drinks. I have a feeling because of the way I’m eating now it’s going to be even easier to stay within budget, even with eating lots more organic foods and high quality meats.
Just like Whole30 has helped me realize how much sugar I consumed without thinking, it has also helped me realize how much money I waste on food! I spent quite a bit of our budget on things I didn’t need at all.
Obviously this month I’ve adding in tithing and that has increased our giving budget generously!
In the past I’ve always given to my church sporadically and donated more time than money. I’ve felt the call recently to be more diligent in my tithing and after talking to my husband we decided to put this into our budget. I’ve felt called in my Bible studies recently to obedience and after many readings and studies on sacrifice and faithfulness I feel that the tithe of 10% is simply something I need to do.
Despite that call I definitely wanted to argue with God. I have a long history of wanting to do things my way despite clear evidence that God’s way was different and infinitely better. So of course I wanted to argue… “We are barely making it each month! We aren’t saving enough! I’ve already added expenses for therapy and cut my income! We can’t add a tithe now! It’s crazy!” Seriously, I tried to argue, but I lost. God kept putting me in my place and reminded me that I need to tithe and that He will provide.
There have been many lessons recently about it but the verses that stood out the most to me were Matthew 6:26-27: ” 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?”
Reading this and also the journey of God’s people through the desert with Moses was an incredible reminder that God will provide exactly what you need. Yes, I need to make wise choices with money and follow good financial principles, but worrying over money and clinging to every last cent I can stuff into savings is not what I’m called to do.
So we are tithing now and giving 10% to the church. I’m still a little nervous about it, ya know? Money has been my sense of security for a while and now I’m stepping out to stretch more than I feel we can handle. But throughout my postpartum journey of internal despair, destruction, and rebuilding, God has been there guiding every step of the way and it feels like I need to do this too.
As a Christian I feel like this is something I should be doing but even past the religious aspect, I think we all should probably be giving more if we are able to meet our basic needs. Find a charity you support that does good work and see if you can increase your giving levels.
I’m adding another hundred dollars to our Christmas sinking fund and also using my third paycheck this month to save up for both Christmas and our new couch! I haven’t decided yet on the exact split of that paycheck, but once I decide for sure I’ll share an update.
I’m not used to being paid biweekly (previously it was bi-monthly), so three paycheck months are still new to me, but it seems like a great opportunity to use the extra paycheck for goals outside regular savings. I’m planning to simply not count those paychecks as they come and use them for special budgeting purposes like savings or Christmas.
What I Use To Budget
Below are some of the items I use to budget with! I get a lot of questions about what I use with my planners and the apps I use to keep my budget on track every month so I want to share the budgeting tools I use to make budgeting both functional and fun.
Happy Planner – I use my Happy Planner for everything including budgeting! I find writing down my budget and checking in on paper helps me to better remember and makes it feel more real.
Budget Stickers – I use a variety of budget stickers in my videos from Me And My Big Ideas, Erin Condren and various Etsy shops. I’ve linked my favorite budget sticker Etsy shops I use all the time below (affiliate links):
- Elaine Michelle Studio (youtuber & budget stickers)
- Planner Kate (matte budget stickers)
- A Happy Blue Tree (kawaii budget stickers)
- HoneyInked Planner Paperie (clear budget stickers)
- Planner Envy (bright budget stickers)
- Caffeinated Cait (script budget sitckers)
Every Dollar – My husband and I both use a shared Every Dollar app account where we actively track our spending. This works best for us since my husband doesn’t use a planner and we have joint bank accounts and expenses.
Mint.com – I’ve used Mint for over years as a passive net worth tracker. It’s a more passive option and I don’t actively update it except for once or twice a year when I want to gauge my net worth progress.
Hopefully these tools will help you with your budget whether you love pen and paper or technology!